Trump’s legal concerns go far beyond the charges in New York

The secret money case in New York that led to criminal charges against Donald Trump is just one of several investigations that could pose legal problems for the former US president.

Joe Tacopina, Trump’s lawyer, confirmed Thursday that he had been informed that the former US president had been indicted on charges related to payments made during the 2016 campaign to silence allegations of an extramarital sexual encounter. The specific charges were not immediately made public.

Former President Donald Trump gestures as he arrives to speak at a rally in Washington.
Former President Donald Trump gestures as he arrives to speak at a rally in Washington (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Trump faces a host of other investigations as he campaigns for another term in 2024, including a criminal investigation into top-secret documents found at his Florida property, a Washington investigation into his efforts to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election and an investigation in Georgia to determine whether he and his allies illegally interfered in the 2020 state election.

Trump, a Republican, has denied any wrongdoing and says Democrats are targeting him to prevent him from retaking the White House.

Here’s a look at the ongoing investigations in various states and places:

– Mar-a-Lago

Of all the inquiries Trump faces, a Justice Department investigation into the retention of top-secret government documents at his Florida property, Mar-a-Lago, could present the most significant legal risk, investigators said in court documents. Last year they were examining possible violations of multiple felony statutes.

A Uniformed Secret Service officer stands in the driveway of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday.
A uniformed Secret Service officer stands in the driveway of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday (Gerald Herbert/AP)

As part of that investigation, agents and prosecutors have spent months interviewing several people close to Trump, including an aide who was seen on surveillance video moving boxes of documents on the property, as they examine whether Trump or his representatives attempted to obstruct the entrance. investigation of classified documents.

Federal officials obtained a search warrant last year to search his home, convincing a Florida judge that there was probable cause of criminal activity there, including the willful withholding of national defense information, a statute that alone carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. .

A grand jury in Washington has been hearing evidence in the investigation. Prosecutors last year granted limited immunity to a close Trump ally to secure his testimony and, more recently, were able to obtain testimony from a Trump attorney who allegedly produced a document indicating a search had been conducted. diligent of classified records.

Attorney General Merrick Garland in November appointed Jack Smith, a veteran war crimes prosecutor who previously led the Justice Department’s public integrity section, to serve as special counsel for the Mar-a-Lago investigation and key aspects of a separate investigation into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

– 2020 Election and Capitol Riots

Smith has also been leading a team investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn elections that Trump falsely claimed were stolen.

Insurgents loyal to President Donald Trump storm the United States Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021.
Insurgents loyal to Donald Trump storm the US Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021 (John Minchillo/AP)

Federal prosecutors have focused especially on a scheme by Trump allies to produce a list of fake presidential electors in key battleground states who falsely declared that Trump, and not Democrat Joe Biden, had won the 2020 election. They have issued subpoenas to several state GOP chairmen.

Federal prosecutors have brought several Trump administration officials before that grand jury for questioning, including Trump’s former White House counsel and a senior adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence. A federal judge recently ruled that Pence would have to testify before the grand jury, though his team was still deciding Thursday whether to appeal.

In a sign of the expanding nature of the investigation, election officials in several states whose results were challenged by Trump received subpoenas requesting prior communications with Trump and his campaign aides or involving Trump.

A House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol has recommended that the Justice Department file criminal charges against Trump and associates who helped him launch a wide-ranging lobbying campaign to try to overturn his defeat in the elections. 2020 elections.

– georgia

After his loss in the 2020 election, Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and urged him to “find 11,780 votes” — enough to overtake Biden and overturn Trump’s narrow defeat in the state.

Former President Donald Trump during a campaign rally at the Waco Regional Airport in Texas
Former President Donald Trump during a campaign rally (Evan Vucci/AP)

That Jan. 2 phone call was part of a months-long effort by a special grand jury in Atlanta investigating whether crimes were committed as part of the lobbying campaign to overturn Trump’s defeat.

Among those questioned by the special grand jury were Rudy Giuliani, a former New York mayor and Trump lawyer, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.

Prosecutors have warned Giuliani and Georgia Republicans who served as fake voters that they risk prosecution. The fake voters signed a certificate stating that Trump had won the election and declared themselves electors of the state, even though Biden had won the state and the Democratic electors had already been certified.

Trump and his allies have denied any wrongdoing, and he has repeatedly described his phone call to Raffensperger as “perfect.”

It is up to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, to decide whether to convene a regular grand jury and file criminal charges in the case. The foreman of the special grand jury that investigated the case at the request of Ms. Willis publicly indicated in February that the panel had recommended multiple indictments.

– NY

New York Attorney General Letitia James sued Trump and the Trump Organization, alleging they misled banks and tax authorities about the value of assets, including golf courses and skyscrapers, to obtain loans and tax breaks.

That lawsuit could lead to civil penalties against the company if Ms. James, a Democrat, wins. She is seeking a $250 million fine and a ban on Trump doing business in New York. Manhattan prosecutors investigated the same alleged conduct but did not file criminal charges.

A civil trial is scheduled in state court for October.

In a separate civil case in federal court in New York, Trump was accused of raping a former magazine columnist in a dressing room in the mid-1990s. That case is scheduled to go to trial on April 25.

Trump has repeatedly insisted that he never met the columnist, E Jean Carroll, at the store and has dismissed her rape claims, saying: “Physically, she’s not my type.” During a deposition in October, he misidentified a decades-old photograph of her as one of her ex-wives.


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